BBC The English We Speak – Hot potato (with listen&read video): Helen has been nominated for an important role on the Parents Association, but she’s having nightmares about it. Neil comes up with a plan and tells her to drop it before it becomes ‘a hot potato’.
Hello and welcome to The English We Speak. I’m Neil.
Hello everyone. I’m Helen.
Oh what’s the matter, Helen? You look really tired.
Is it that bad?
You’ve got very dark shadows under your eyes.
Oh dear. Well, I’ve been pushed into a role and I don’t really want it.
What is it?
To be the treasurer for the school’s parents association and you know I am hopeless with numbers.
Sounds like it could turn into a hot potato for you.
Hot potato? Do you mean a jacket potato? No I am not hungry, I am nervous.
I’m not talking about food. I am talking about this job. I can see it’s going to be a problem for you.
I’m thinking the same.
You need to think about it very carefully before it becomes a hot potato. When something becomes a ‘hot potato’, it becomes a problem and difficult to handle.
I see. You can’t hold a hot potato in your hand. It would burn you.
Exactly, you’ve got it. A hot potato is a phrase we use to refer to difficult or tricky situations, or even people. Here are a few examples:
The shortage of housing supply is fast becoming a hot potato for the council.
The pay rise issue is a hot potato for management; I don’t know how they are going to sort this one out between the staff, the union and the shareholders.
Helen, my word of advice is…
Please, I’m listening.
Just tell the school you can’t do it. Drop it before it becomes a real hot potato for you.
You are right. That’s what I will do. Thanks
The English We Speak – Hot potato: listen&read video
…or maybe you will like this version:
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- The English We Speak – Hot potato
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